NHS recruitment crisis deepens | HRD


Caroline Gleeson, co-founder of Occupy,

23 November 2021

As the NHS grapples with a range of issues, namely the pandemic and perceived poor working conditions, the latest news that mandatory vaccines for staff will be introduced from next spring are of great concern. For greater clarity, Occupop, a recruiting software company, has released its annual healthcare recruiting report.

Before the pandemic, the NHS struggled to retain staff and recruit in various fields, but since March 2020 these challenges have been magnified in ways no one could have seen. Almost 2/3 of nurses saying their mental health has deteriorated since the start of the pandemic *, and this shows no signs of slowing down, 62% saying their mental health is “worse” or “much worse” today than at the start of covid.

Fortunately, there are glimmers of hope in the midst of what may seem like a hopeless scenario, as Occupop has seen an increase in applications in some areas of the healthcare industry.

Commenting on the situation, Occupy Co-Founder David Banaghan said; “Healthcare has been one of the hardest hit and most affected sectors over the past year, facing a pandemic-induced crisis that has taken a heavy toll on medical personnel. But there are positives – young people have seen the heroism of the NHS for an extraordinary time, and this has manifested itself in an increase in
applications for nursing schools; and a 21% increase in UCAS applications for medical degrees.

The UK government has set an ambitious target of recruiting an additional 50,000 nurses by 2024. Staffing was a key issue for the NHS even before the pandemic (and only intensified after the pandemic) as patient demand continues to increase. So how will this be achieved?

David Banaghan suggests the following recruiting tactics to attract talent;

1. Improved flexible working
Electronic self-registration. This has helped to improve the work-life balance, making trust a
more attractive employer for staff and candidates, reducing turnover and vacancies, relieving pressure on the hiring process. NHS England has responded to the desire for flexible working in the medical workforce by creating new local banks for salaried and substitute GPs, as announced in the NHS People Plan in July 2020. This is expected to create new ones opportunities for GPS to work flexibly and a new way for trusts. attract and hire doctors.

2. Create a sustainable career path
The State of Care report from the Quality of Care Commission found that adult social care providers have improved opportunities for career advancement. They have achieved this by partnering with other social and health care providers to provide opportunities for career advancement. This involved local authorities and suppliers and other agencies working together to pool resources and create smoother career paths.

3. Recruitment from overseas to help meet the 50,000 goal
In February 2021 of this year, the UK government updated its Code of Practice (COP) for the international recruitment of health and social personnel to align with the World Health Organization (WHO), thereby expanding the global market from which the UK can ethically recruit ‘. Prior to this update, there were 152 countries in which NHS employers were not allowed to recruit; following the update the list has been reduced to 47